Perspectives Book Group - Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland


Presenter: Mary C. Kelly

As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading "Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland," by Patrick Radden Keefe. A bestselling account of a murder in Northern Ireland, that serves as a lens to explore Northern Ireland's political culture and the legacy of The Troubles. 

Jean McConville’s abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville’s children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the dress–with so many kids, she had always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes.

Patrick Radden Keefe’s mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children, but also I.R.A. members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland, and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war, but simple murders.

From radical and impetuous I.R.A. terrorists such as Dolours Price, who, when she was barely out of her teens, was already planting bombs in London and targeting informers for execution, to the ferocious I.R.A. mastermind known as The Dark, to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army, to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace but betrayed his hardcore comrades by denying his I.R.A. past–Say Nothing conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish.


Event Details


Tuesday, March 14, 2023 7:00pm


1313 US-302
Bartlett NH 03812

Hosted By:

Bartlett Public Library & Friends of the Bartlett Public Library

Contact Info:

Bartlett Public Library, 603-374-2755